It's tough to pick only a few reasons to choose Shapeoko, but here are some of the top reasons our customers tell us they chose Shapeoko.
1. Rigid and Accurate
All of the Shapeoko machines are built on our Hybrid Table. It's a grid of custom extrusions that form a rigid base for the machine.
Believe it or not, other companies sell half a machine and expect you to bolt it to a sheet of wood. We think it's crazy to bolt a precision machine to a piece of wood that will flex and move with changes in temperature and humidity.
In addition to a rigid machine, the Hybrid Table also gives you a flexible workholding system to make it easy to hold all of your projects.
We get asked this question a lot. There are a lot of CNC routers out there, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a CNC router.
Size: You'll want to make sure that the CNC router is small enough to fit comfortably in your shop space, but also large enough to handle the size of materials you'll be working with. If the machine lets you pass larger materials through the machine, you can cut parts larger than the machine's table size.
Ease of Use: Consider how user-friendly the machine is, especially if you're new to CNC routers. Look for a machine with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to quickly and easily set up your cuts. If the controls look too complicated in screenshots, they probably are in real life.
Rigidity: Look for a CNC machine that's built with sturdy components on a sold frame. Things like fully-supported rails and a rigid base go a long way to giving you repeatable, quality cuts.
Cost: A typical CNC router can range from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Don't look at the cost of the machine alone, but also the cost of the software, training, workholding, and other accessories you'll need to get started. Cheaper CNC machines can end up costing you a lot more to get up and running.
Customer Support: Look for a company that offers excellent customer support and technical assistance. A CNC machine is a significant purchase and you want to know that you're going to be able to get help if you need it.
Warranty: Things break. A good warranty will give you peace of mind and ensure that you're covered if something goes wrong.
Training: Look for a company that offers training and support beyond just getting the machine to move. Maybe you won't need the help, but it's nice to know that it's there if you need it.
Software: Be sure the machine comes with all the CNC software you need. If it doesn't be sure you know the additional cost, which can be significant.
Workholding: Nobody ever thinks about workholding before they buy a CNC router, but it's a critical part of the process. Be sure your CNC router comes with flexible workholding that will allow you to hold a wide variety of materials.
Dust Collection: Dust is the enemy of a CNC router, and it makes a mess of your shop. Be sure your CNC router comes with a dust shoe that will connect to your shop vacuum to keep your shop (and CNC machine) clean.